Professor Jessica Rubin was honored by the Connecticut Humane Society with induction into the Gertrude O. Lewis Humanitarian Society on Nov. 9, 2019.
Rubin was honored at the Humane Society’s annual Diamonds in the Ruff gala, and was only the fifth person to be inducted into the Humanitarian Society, named after the Connecticut Humane Society’s founder. She was honored for her contributions to animal rights.
Rubin founded the Animal Law Clinic at the UConn School of Law and worked with the Connecticut Humane Society and other animal rights supporters to pass and implement “Desmond’s Law” in Connecticut. The 2016 law allows courts to assign legal advocates, usually law students or lawyers volunteering their time, to advocate for justice in animal abuse cases.
Her love of animals started young, and she credits the fact that her mother ran an animal rescue group. “We were the contact for local animal emergencies, abandoned dogs, abused cats, injured swans,” Rubin said. “So, I think that I am hard-wired to love animals, and my upbringing allowed that passion to flourish and develop into a lifestyle and eventually a career.”
When Desmond’s Law passed in Connecticut, it was the first law of its kind in the nation. Now several states have passed or are considering similar legislation.
“What’s so amazing about Jessica’s work is that it’s not only having a positive impact on pets in Connecticut, it’s having a domino effect nationwide. She helped create a model with the legal advocate program that other parts of the country are now replicating,” said Gordon Willard, executive director of the Connecticut Humane Society.